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UFC on Versus 3 preview: Brian Bowles vs Damacio Page

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Former WEC Bantamweight Champion Brian Bowles will return to action to take on the gritty Damacio Page at UFC on Versus 3 this Thursday in Louisville, Kentucky.

The two fighters have met once before, at WEC 35, where Bowles brought home "Submission of the Night" honors by submitting Page with a first round guillotine choke.

Bowles will be making a return to active competition after a year without competing in MMA due to various injuries.

As for Page, he will seek his revenge in his first bout inside the famed Octagon.

Who will go moving on up that 135-pound ladder? Will we see a repeat of the first fight? Or have the tides changed enough that an upset is in order?

We'll find out soon enough (9:00 p.m. ET to be precise). In the meantime, here is a quick preview of their rematch.

Check it out:

Brian Bowles

Record: 8-1 overall, 5-1 in the WEC

Key Wins: Miguel Torres (WEC 42), Will Ribeiro (WEC 37), Damacio Page (WEC 35)

Key Losses: Dominick Cruz (WEC 47)

How he got here: Bowles had a perfect professional record up until losing his title to Dominick Cruz, where he broke his hand. He was expected to return to action to face Wagnney Fabiano at WEC 52, but was forced off the event with a broken foot. Known for being an exceptionally well-rounded fighter, all eight of Bowles's wins came via knockout or submission against some of the toughest fighters the WEC had to offer.

How he gets it done: Bowles has a lot more tools in his arsenal than Page, as he has shown both exceptional stand up and solid grappling skills. If he can make this fight a grappling match, like he did in their first outing, he can get the easy victory as four of Page's five losses have come via submission. 

 

Damacio Page

Record: 12-5 overall, 3-2 in the WEC

Key Wins: Scott Jorgensen (WEC 32), Marcus Galvao (WEC 39), Will Campuzano (WEC 43)

Key Losses: Brian Bowles (WEC 35), Demetrius Johnson (WEC 52), Genki Sudo (K-1 Premium 2006 Dynamite!!)

How he got here: Albuquerque, New Mexico's own, Page has gone 3-2 in his last five outings.  In his last performance, he lost via guillotine choke to Demetrius Johnson in now the defunct WEC. Prior to the bout with Johnson, Page was coming off impressive victories over Marcus Galvao and Will Campuzano.

How he gets it done: Page's strength relies in his ability to make the fight a brawl. The Greg Jackson pupil will need to keep this fight off the mat if he is to avoid a second loss to Bowles. Also, he will need to make sure he gets after it early in order to take advantage of any ring-rust Bowles may suffer from.

 

Fight "X Factor:" The layoff could very easily play a huge factor as Bowles hasn't seen action in almost exactly a year. He is also coming off a broken foot and one has to question how good his timing will be coming into this fight. Also, Bowles broke his hand the bout before that, and it's hard to determine how willing he will be to throw punches with the same velocity he once did.

Bottom Line: Bowles has everything to lose in this fight, as he's still ranked in the top three bantamweights and is a former champion. Should Page win, he'll make a drastic climb in the rankings and the memories of Bowles's dominance will simply be a thing of the past. However, even with the layoff, I see Bowles getting the job done via submission. Page always has a punchers chance, of course, but if Bowles is healthy and back to form, he will hold an advantage in the stand-up as well. Good enough for me. 

Which bantamweight will win their Octagon debut at UFC on Versus 3? Tell us who you think will win!

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